Surgery: What to Expect – Implanting the Neurostimulator

Your healthcare team will explain what happens when the InterStim™ neurostimulator is implanted and what to expect before and after the surgery. They will also answer any questions you may have.

Before the Procedure

Instructions given to people may differ between doctors. It’s important to follow all of your doctor's instructions closely.

During the Procedure

Having the InterStim system implanted requires a short operation (about one hour) in an operating room.

  • You may only need a local anaesthetic, so you will be awake during the surgery or your doctor may decide to give you a general anaesthetic
  • A small incision will be made in your upper buttock where your doctor will insert the neurostimulator under the skin
  • A small incision will also be made in your lower back where a long-term electrode will be inserted next to your sacral nerves. The neurostimulator sends the electrical pulses through this thin wire to your sacral nerves.

After the Procedure

After the surgery, your doctor will programme the neurostimulator to give the same stimulation as during the trial assessment. You will be shown how to use the patient programmer so you can adjust the settings yourself.

You may need to restrict your activities for a short while after the surgery. Talk to your doctor about what is most appropriate for you. You will gradually be able to increase your activity level until you regain your usual lifestyle.

At first, you might also feel the sensation of the neurostimulator and the electrical pulses, but you should soon stop noticing them.

You will need to visit your doctor once or twice after the surgery for a check up.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 22 Sep 2010

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